La Esperanza Bakery Coffee Cup

La Esperanza Bakery Coffee Cup

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This white stoneware coffee cup was manufactured by the Technical Porcelain and Chinaware Company (TEPCO) of El Cerrito, California. It was used at the La Esperanza Bakery in Los Angeles. The bakery’s founder, Ezequiel Moreno, came to Los Angeles in 1916 with his wife, Guadalupe de la Torre and settled in East Los Angeles, California. Trained as a baker in his native state, Zacatecas, Mexico, Moreno began selling Mexican breads and pastries from horse-drawn carts in the surrounding LA neighborhoods of Maravilla, Belvedere, and Boyle Heights before opening storefronts in Downtown Los Angeles and Watts.
La Esperanza Bakery’s primary location was on the bottom floor of the Plaza House at 507 North Main Street, in downtown LA’s historic old Plaza district. During the week, it catered mostly to the office workers of the nearby Civic Center, serving “American style” lunches and breakfasts. On the weekends, the bakery was a hub for the local Mexican community serving up menudo, huevos rancheros, and other Mexican food specialties. In addition to La Esperanza Bakery, the Plaza district was home to a rich tapestry of businesses run by a multiethnic coalition of Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, and European immigrants. This network of restaurants, bakeries, theaters, and grocery stores became a central location for immigrants to mobilize around movements for rights and justice in the United States and in their homelands.
Object Name
cup, coffee
date made
place made
United States: California, El Cerrito
Physical Description
stoneware (overall material)
overall: 2 1/2 in x 4 3/8 in x 3 1/2 in; 6.35 cm x 11.1125 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Elvira P. Moreno
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Many Voices, One Nation
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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